I can’t remember a time when on assignment to photograph a client, I would think to myself, if I could only use one lens, which one would it be? It’s only been in the last few years that I discovered the brilliance of a lens that fits this description, Sigma’s 24-105mm F4 DG HSM | A.
Recently, I was hired to create a Look Book for a marketing research company in Los Angeles. The imagery I was creating was to show Men’s shoes and what they do in them. The marketing research firm selected the men and their choices were based on a certain age and selected professions. They were all local to the Los Angeles area and easily within 10-15 miles from each other.
Their client, a shoe company, wanted to inspire it’s designers by creating imagery that would show the importance of what men do in their shoes and which shoes they would choose for certain activities.
I had only one day to create this imagery and had three separate models to photograph in a very short period of time and in several locations. Once I had met with the company and discussed everyone’s needs, it was time to start the sessions. I knew almost nothing about any of the individuals I was photographing and nothing about the locations I was photographing in. My first thought centered around my equipment and what lenses I would use for this assignment. I had limited time in each session and even less time in between each location. I had brought three lenses with me the 24-105mm 4.0, 70-200mm 2.8, the 50mm 1.4 my favorite Sigma Art lenses. There was no time to set up lights, but I felt very confident that I was covered with any low light situation I might be in with an F.1.4, F.2.8 and F.4.0 apertures.
From the very beginning of my sessions that day, I discovered all three locations had beautiful natural light. We photographed from 10am until 5:00pm and stopped only once to eat lunch. I moved extremely fast all day using as many different backdrops I could find in as many locations as I could get into. Three locations were planned; the remaining six or seven we used were spur of the moment.
These images of Steven photographed against this red wall were unplanned. As we were returning to the office for the day we passed this amazing wall and decided we needed to use it in the Look Book. We had to wait in line while several tourists seized the same opportunity to use this wonderful wall. There was no place to park, typical for the Los Angeles area and while my assistant drove around the corner, Steven and I quickly got out of the car, waited our turn and had maybe 5 minutes to shoot. It wasn’t until we headed back to the office that I realized I had photographed all day with the same lens, the Sigma 24-105mm 4.0, my workhorse, it had never left my camera body.
The Look Book was a big success and the client published my images along with two other photographers’ work with much delight.
Good in the field, variety in focal length
I’ve always been aware of how much I use this lens and how important it is to me out in the field with so much variety in its focal length. When I’m mentoring beginning photographers, it’s the first lens I suggest they add to their bags. It’s amazingly sharp, a beautiful wide-angle lens at 24mm, a terrific full body with scenery lens at 50-70mm and a great portrait lens at 105mm. It is the first lens I pack in my bag wherever I go out on assignment.
The following images were taken within minutes of each and created with the same lens at all different focal lengths. I had 5 minutes in this location to complete all my shots. These were also the favorite shots of the day.
This image below of Robert was created in Hermosa Beach, Ca. with permission of the local restaurant; we were allowed to photograph in the waiting room before they opened. These are my favorite kinds of images where I’m shooting with only natural light against two floor to ceiling windows taking full advantage of the gorgeous diffused light and a great wide angle perspective.
These are some sample pages from the finished project.
All images captured by the Sigma 24-105mm Art lens.